I'm bumping up this almost 2 year old post to link to Russ Parsons' LA Times blog post about The rat's ratatouille .
You'll see a couple of comments at the bottom of the post.
"I am beginning to investigate whether or not byaldi entered the French lexicon via Algeria. Some say byaldi is derived from the Turkish imam bayildi and the historical "bridge" between France and the Ottoman empire is Algeria. (Where is Charles Perry to answer?)
The same ingredients and essentially the same cooking techniques are found in more than one food culture.